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100 Tips, Tools, and Tricks to Cure a Hangover
August 17th, 2009
By Kitty Holman
The dreaded hangover is one medical malady that doesn’t seem to have a surefire remedy. Throughout the ages, over indulgers have created strange concoctions to help combat the terrible morning after a night of drinking. While the medical profession claims there is no real cure for a hangover, it doesn’t mean you should stop seeking relief. Check out the following 100 suggestions to see if you can find your magic elixir for the morning after.
Before You Drink
Be sure to try these tips before heading out for a night of drinking.
- Eat. The one thing you must do before a night of drinking is make sure you have food on your stomach. A solid meal with lots of protein and carbs is the best to help prevent a hangover.
- Drink plenty of water. Make sure you are hydrated before you go out drinking. Have a few glasses of water before heading out, too.
- Prickly pear extract. One study indicates that drinking prickly pear extract
- Drink milk. Supposedly milk will coat the lining of your stomach and inhibit the absorption of some of that alcohol you’ll be pouring down.
- Olive oil. Do as the Mediterraneans do and dip some bread in olive oil. The fat content from the oil will help prevent a hangover.
- Ginseng. Apparently, taking ginseng before drinking can help your body process the alcohol. It will also give you an energy boost that is more beneficial than caffeine or an energy drink.
- B6. One study showed that taking vitamin B6 prior to drinking, while drinking, and before going to bed reduced hangovers by approximately 50%.
- Miso soup. This Japanese soup is often eaten before going out to help counteract the effects of alcohol.
- Peanut butter. In Africa, peanut butter is a common food to help prevent hangovers.
- Be happy. One study shows that those who are depressed, angry, or feel guilty about drinking have worse hangovers than those who are happier.
- Don’t drink. This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning. The best way to skip a hangover is to skip the alcohol. Offer to be the designated driver, and you’ll feel better tomorrow.
These smart suggestions will help minimize the effects of drinking so your next morning goes more smoothly.
- Alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks. Alternating drinks ensures you are staying hydrated and slows down the amount of alcohol you are drinking.
- Drink one drink per hour. This is the recommended rate of consumption to ensure you don’t drink too fast.
- Choose your alcohol carefully. Cheap liquor, darker liquor, and red wine are all known culprits for bad hangovers. If you plan to drink more than one or two, opt for something easier on the body, such as vodka or beer.
- Keep count. Know how many drinks you are consuming. If you start to lose count, it’s a good sign you need to slow down or stop drinking altogether.
- Skip the carbonation. Carbonated drinks can often lead to worse hangovers, so stick with fruit juice or water mixers or drink beer.
- Skip the sugar. Alcohol itself messes with your blood sugar level, so don’t make it worse by mixing sugary drinks with your alcohol.
- Stick with beer. When you drink a beer, you know exactly how much liquor is in your drink. With hard alcohol, it all depends on the bartender and can be misleading when you start counting drinks.
- Don’t smoke. Or if you have to smoke, don’t smoke too much. Smoking robs your body of oxygen and will lead to a bad hangover.
- Remember an old adage. "Beer before liquor, never sicker. Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear." Or better yet, don’t mix your drinks at all.
- ML01. If you drink red wine, you may be happy to hear that the genetically-modified yeast ML01 can eliminate the headache associated with red wine drinking.
- Bar snacks. Typical bar snacks like nuts and chips are good to snack on while drinking because their high fat content will help absorb the alcohol.
After drinking, give these ideas a try in order to ease any bad effects from drinking.
- Don’t take Tylenol. Tylenol and alcohol consumption don’t mix–it can be very bad for your liver. If you are already feeling the beginning of the hangover, take ibuprofen instead, but it’s best to wait until the alcohol is out of your system before taking anything.
- Drink water. Be sure you drink several glasses of water before heading to bed to help rehydrate your body.
- Snack. Have a high-carb snack after drinking to help absorb all that alcohol. You will wake up feeling better than if you hadn’t snacked.
- Take a multi-vitamin. While you sleep, give your body a chance to replenish some of the vitamins and minerals you’ve lost by taking a good multi-vitamin before bed.
- Drink OJ. The vitamin C may help your body process the alcohol more quickly.
- Bifidus powder. Put a spoonful of bifidus power in a glass of water and drink before bed. Bifidus powder will detoxify acetaldehyde, the byproduct of alcohol that causes hangovers.
- Stop drinking at least an hour before bed. This gives your body time to metabolize the last few drinks before going to sleep, during which time your metabolism will slow considerably.
Remedies for the Next Morning
When you have awakened and feel like you’ve been hit by a beer truck, give some of these drinks a try.
- Emergence-C. The vitamin C and B-complex vitamins in Emergence-C can replenish your body of what it’s lost during drinking and boost your energy.
- Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen. can help stop that pounding headache and any other body aches you may be experiencing from a crazy night out.
- Water. Even if you need to take small sips, make sure you are getting water in your body to help rehydrate you after drinking.
- Carbonated soda. The sugar in the soda may help your blood sugar level out and the carbonation helps relieve nausea.
- Fruit juice. Fruit juice also helps level out your blood sugar and helps hydrate your body.
- Skip the caffeine. While a strong cup of coffee may feel like what you need to clear the cobwebs, it will actually help dehydrate you more, which is the opposite of what you need to be doing the morning after heavy drinking.
- Sports drink. Many people swear by the electrolytes in sports drinks for helping the body recover from a hangover.
- Ginger ale. Ginger has been a cure for stomach ailments for centuries. Give ginger ale a try to help your queasy stomach feel better.
- Green tea. In China, green tea is a popular hangover cure.
- Ayurvedic hangover cure. This ayurvedic hangover cure is simple, requiring just orange juice, lime juice, and a pinch of cumin.
- Hangover Remedies. This video offers a smoothie recipe full of everything you need to help your body get back to normal. You probably want to prepare the day before as it requires lots of ingredients.
- Salt solution. A pinch of salt mixed in your water may be easier for your body to handle when you are reeling from the effects of alcohol.
- Pedialyte. While this drink is made to rehydrate sick children, there are many reports of Pedialyte helping overindulged adults as well.
Activities for the Next Morning
From more sleep to light activity, these activities may help you start recovering more quickly.
- Sleep. Sleep as much as you can as this will help your body recover and heal itself.
- Take a shower. Wash off the sweat and any cigarette smoke that may be lingering on your body. Some people say alternating between hot and cold water will help, too.
- Get moving. As soon as you can, get yourself up and moving. The physical exercise will help your body metabolize the leftover alcohol and detoxify your body. Don’t overdo it, though as too much sweating can cause more dehydration.
- Time. Unfortunately, one of the best cures for a hangover is something you have no control over–time. Give yourself plenty of TLC while waiting out the way you feel and eventually, you will get better.
- Sauna. Many in Finland and Russia use the sauna for hangover relief, sweating the toxins out. Just make sure you drink plenty of water as the sauna can dehydrate your already-dehydrated body.
- Swimming. The cool water and physical activity are a great way for many to feel almost instant relief.
- Sex. Sex releases oxytocin, which reduces pain sensitivity and elevates mood. It just might help the hangover.
- Warm bath. Some agree that a warm bath is a relaxing way to help ease out of the hangover hurts. Apparently the thermal baths in Hungary are used for this manner and are even called Hangover Baths.
- Massage. Known for releasing toxins, massages may help you recover a little more quickly. This video demonstrates how to give yourself a hangover massage.
- Breath pure oxygen. If you have access to pure oxygen (think oxygen bar here, not Grandpa’s tank), try breathing a bit to oxygenate your blood.
Getting food on your stomach is important after a night of imbibing. Give these a try to see if they help.
- Saltine crackers. If you can barely stomach anything, try nibbling on a cracker or two. The salt and carbs will help start the recovery process and is easy on your stomach.
- Chicken soup. The protein in the chicken will provide nutrients for your body and the broth offers more hydration.
- Eggs. Eggs contain cysteine, which counteracts acetaldehyde, so scramble some up and put in a tortilla or a piece of toast for some carbs to help absorb that alcohol still sloshing around.
- Honey. The potassium in honey will help get your body back on track, so add some to tea or just eat it straight.
- Mexican food. The high fat content, protein, carbs, and spice all contribute to make a great hangover cure. Some swear by eating menudo, a stew made from tripe, as a cure.
- Cabbage. Cabbage soup or sauerkraut are both supposedly great foods to eat when you’ve imbibed too much.
- Pasta. Pasta is easy to make, easy to eat with a tender stomach, and full of carbs that help your blood sugar level out.
- Pickled or canned fish. The high mineral content in these foods are supposed to help your body recover, and in Germany, pickled herring is a frequent menu item on the hangover breakfast.
- Rice. This carb is easy on the stomach and will help you feel human again.
- Fresh fruit. Fruit will help replenish the vitamins you lost and hydrate your body.
- Bacon sandwich. The protein in the bacon and the carbs of the bread have shown to help reduce your hangover symptoms.
- Banana smoothie. Bananas are full of potassium and are often touted as an excellent hangover cure. Add other fruits and sweeten with honey to make your smoothie even more potent.
- Yaka Mein. In New Orleans, this dish can sometimes be found and is reportedly an awesome hangover breakfast.
Hair of the Dog Recipes
Many experts claim that drinking the morning after isn’t good for your body and only slows recovery, but there are still many who claim this is the best recipe for recovery.
- Spicy Bloody Mary. The alcohol in the Bloody Mary helps offset the blood sugar imbalance from last night’s overindulgence and the fruit and spice are both excellent ways to combat that hungover feeling. If you don’t want the alcohol, try a virgin variety for some of the same benefits.
- Black Velvet. This Irish hangover recipe is a combination of champagne and Guinness.
- Tomato juice and beer. Supposedly this is Earnest Hemingway’s hangover cure.
- Red Eye. Use this recipe for a hangover cure. Some people add Worcestershire sauce and or Tabasco to it as well.
- Suffering Bastard. While there seems to be some debate over whether this started as a hangover cure or not (and even how to make the drink), give a Suffering Bastard a try the next morning.
- Corpse Reviver. There are two versions for this drink, which is supposed to be easy to sip first thing in the morning.
- Thomas Abercrombie. Alka Seltzer and tequila are at the heart of this hangover cure.
- Hair of the Dog. With a name like that, this drink must be made for hangovers. It’s said to be easier than a Bloody Mary to stomach.
- Breakfast in a Glass. Perhaps the impaired judgment from last night continues when you choose this cure.
- Vodka Slush Puppy. The citrus in this drink is sure to help you feel a bit better.
- Mimosa. This drink is light and full of orange juice, a perfect way to start your hangover day.
- Irish Coffee. Try a cup of Joe with some Irish whiskey to get your morning started.
These remedies are old standbys from around the world, recent times, and times long past.
- Alka Seltzer. Alka Seltzer is an old standby for many who claim this is all they need to feel better the next morning. They even make a version now that is specifically for hangovers.
- Bitters and soda. This tried and true will settle your stomach and help you start feeling normal again.
- Baking soda and water. A teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water helps many feel better.
- Milk thistle. In Dublin, milk thistle is a common herb to use for hangover relief.
- Evening primrose oil. Used for centuries as a hangover cure, evening primrose oil can help your liver and stomach.
- Vuelva a la vida. This Mexican seafood salad, which means "return to life," is often served to help recover from a hangover.
- Jassa. This spicy chicken stew from Senegal requires some advanced preparation, but promises to wipe away the hangover.
- Onion soup. The French recommend a thick and hearty bowl of onion soup in the morning.
- Middle Ages cure. In the Middle Ages, drinkers would have a breakfast of bitter almonds and dried eel.
Who knows if these strange remedies work or not, but they might be worth a try–if you can stomach them.
- The bull’s eye. Orange juice and a raw egg…if you can stand this on a queasy stomach, it supposedly knocks out the hangover.
- Drink pickle juice. In Poland, this strange hangover cure is standard fare for the morning after.
- River sand. An old Irish cure involves burying the hangover sufferer up to the next in moist river sand.
- Spirulina. 10 -20 grams of spirulina is the perfect cure, according to this video.
- Pickled plums. In Japan, these mouth-puckering plums known as umeboshi are a common hangover cure.
- Prairie oyster. This hangover cure promises to help, but it sounds downright awful.
- Cumin seeds. The Moroccans chew cumin seeds to help fight off hangover symptoms.
- Lemons under the arms. This odd remedy is supposedly used in Puerto Rico prior to drinking.
- Poached salt cod. From Keith Floyd’s recipe, poach cod in milk, blend together with garlic and olive oil, and serve on toast.
- Voodoo cure. A voodoo cure recommends sticking 13 pins in the bottle from which you drank.
- Highland Fling. This Scottish recipe of buttermilk, cornflower, salt, and pepper is supposed to help.
- Morning-After Shake. Try this recipe for a strange hangover shake.
- Bull’s penis. Sicilian men relied on a breakfast of bull’s penis to quell their hangover symptoms. In Bolivia, they still eat a soup made from bull’s penis for both aphrodisiac qualities as well as hangover help.
- Rabbit pellet tea. According to some, one hangover cure in the Old West included drinking tea made from rabbit pellets.